West Coast of NZ, mountaineering

April 2017 and Mountain Guide Gaz is just back from a trip to the West coast neve of the Fox Glacier.

Excellent weather and great mountaineering conditions  and a couple of excellent ascents for a couple from Thailand.

lendenfeld

Mt lendenfeld, one of 26 peaks over 3000m in the NZ Alps – ascended this week.

Adventures start from Pioneer hut

Pioneer Hut, @2400m above sea level. The climbing base for the week.

Private Mountaineering Instruction

Decemeber was busy for IFMGA mountain guide Gary Dickson with him working at Mt Cook doing two 5 day private mountaineering courses.  These shorter courses are ideal in length for introductory or skills update, and being not too long in the mountains, making for a pleasant amount of time for many people to be in the back country.  Both trips were based out of Tasman Saddle hut, at the head of the Tasman Glacier, which was ideal in the quite changeable westerly weather conditions.

private mountaineering instruction course in New Zealand

Tasman Saddle hut, your base for a private mountaineering instruction course

NZ mountain guides assn assessments

Nov/Dec had IFMGA Mountain Guide Gary working as an assessor for the New Zealand Mountain Guides association as an assessor for two four day NZMGA hard ice guide courses.  Both these courses where run on the lower Tasman Glacier ice, a first for the associations training and certification scheme ( usually these courses have been held on the west coast glaciers). All eight of the candidates who put themselves forward for this aseessment( the highest award in NZ for Hard ice glacier guiding) ended up passing. Well done to them all.

NZ mountain guides assocaition HIG courses

Alpine climbing instruction course

alpine climbing instruction course fox glacier NZ

Matt roped up for glacier travel coming down the Fox Glacier

January had Gary instructing Matt from New Castle Australia the skills required for alpine climbing for NZ and global mountains (Matt having aspirations of international peaks in the future).  The course was based at Pioneer hut  at the head of the Fox Glacier. A storm in the middle of the  7 day course had very strong winds – the weather forcast was predicting 150 kmph winds at 2000m and  3000m elevations. The team and the hut weathered it well. Fresh snow made for some interesting glacier travel and use of a pre prepared navigation plan was needed for the first part of the journey from Pioneer down to Chancellor hut.

Before driving back to Wanaka, Matt enjoyed using his Alpine climbing skills on the blue ice of the lower Fox ice.

Intermediate-advanced climbing course

climbing course - learning to place ice screws

learning to place ice screws on a climbing course

End of the month, two fit fellas will be arriving from Aussie to go on an intermediate-advanced climbing course with mountain guide Gaz.  The NZ weather looks to have settled into a more settled state of play and alpine conditions look excellent for the 10 day specialized mountain training.

If you are  looking for a climbing course we have  two sceduled courses comming up:

  • Intro to alpinism    –    6 days  20th-25th February
  • Total Alpinism         –   7  days  04th-10th March

If you are an individual or a group looking to have a week of private mountaineering instruction, just get in touch and we can see if we can fit around your schedule.

 

Mountaineering with Gary Dickson, Alpinism & Ski Wanaka – NZ and Europe

Here some memorabilia of Alpinism during the last decade: youtube legendary Doug Ball who spent considerable time climbing with mountain guide Gary Dickson aka Gaz from January 2006 until August 2009.

Climbing Mt Aspiring

Doug Ball, 79, on Mt Aspiring, New Zealand

Doug Ball on the Fiescherhorn with mountain guide Gary Dickson

Doug at 80, climbing a few peaks over 4000m in a week in Switzerland

climbing in the Swiss Alps

Doug climbing high above the Dossenhütte, Kingspitze in the back ground

Doug had climbed Mt Cook Aoraki with his wife Peggy and many other peaks, but never Mt Aspiring. He got thwarted twice while climbing with Gaz because of conditions and weather but third time lucky and for a brief time he was considered the oldest climber to have sumited. He must have been an inspiration … more

Doug and Mt Tasman in the back ground

Based at Centennial hut for some more alpine climbing

He sent us these lines just recently …”I use a slide show of my mountaineering photos as a screen saver so that my memories are not lost but are refreshed every day. Alpinism and Ski certainly made an enormous difference to my life. What would have become of me if I had just thrown in the sponge after Peggy died?  I have so much to thank you both for and am not likely to ever forget it.”

keep going strong Doug

Trekking, hiking, walks – Wanaka area

tramping huts in NZ

Cameron hut and Mount Cook lillies - giant buttercup

Guided trek to Rob Roy glacier cirque

Magnificient views on the Rob Roy glacier track

Protected mountain parrots: Keas

Keas, welcoming you to Rob Roy glacier cirque

Beginning of January and the weather has been outstanding here for at least three weeks, fantastic for all sorts of walks and hiking adventures. Iris has been on her guided trekking excrusions to Rob Roy a couple of times and privately for personal recreation, hiking to Cameron hut and Breast Hill. For more recreation, the Alpinism & Ski team has climbed Sharks Tooth in the Matukituki valley with friends Gordy and Katrin. Also on the program a few sailing excursions on lake Wanaka, perfect alternative to the mountains. Want to join us for some fun? just ask!

Going up Shark's Tooth

Climbing up and up towards Shark's Tooth with brilliant views of Mt Rob Roy

Private Instruction course in the Southern Alps of NZ

Mountaineering private instruction

Winter mountaineering skills in the Southern Alps; training for a Patagonia adventure

September 2011

“We’ve had a great trip as part of our training for our Patagonia trip. We loved being taken up to the Tasman Glacier and improving our off piste skiing skills and we appreciated the expertise Gary showed in extending our skills slowly but surely. We came away refreshed and more informed and skilled for future ventures. Great food, great fun, great location, great weather.

The hospitality back in Wanaka is exceptional – thanks for feeding us beautiful food and making us so welcome.”

Linda, Kerryn, Rob  – here a link to their Patagonia adventure and more

 

Mountain guiding in New Zealand

Be it an ascent of one of the beautiful peaks in the Southern Alps or a mountaineering instruction course to learn/refresh alpine climbing skills, Alpinism and Ski  offers you our  diverse range of mountain guiding services. From short and easy rock climbing on the local Wanaka crags, trekking, hiking and walking around the local hills or  to more full on and week long missions on the glaciated terrain, just get in touch to help you organize your next trip.

Rock climbing near Wanaka

The youngest and smallest having fun on the rock

Rock climbing

A future rock climbing star in the making?

Yesterday, Riverside next to the Motatapu river near Wanaka provided a fantastic venue for an introduction to the sport of rock climbing for long time client and friend Phil melchiors Grand sons. It was  also a lovely spot  for a family picnic and ‘refreshing’ plunge in the water.

Mountaineering instruction courses in New Zealand

mountaineering instruction courses

Snow and ice techniques on a mountaineering course

crevasse rescue on an instruction course

crevasse rescue on an instruction course

pitching up a ridge, alpine course

pitching up a ridge on an alpine instruction course

 

The New Year is approaching fast and the last few weeks have brought us excellent weather for adventures in the Southern Alps.

We have two mountaineering courses on the program, one for beginners and the other for intermediate to advanced mountaineers keen to brush up, renew and confirm their alpine climbing skills to stay safe in the mountains while having fun, here the details:

  • Intro to Alpinism, 6 days from 20 – 25th February 2012, $ 2426 pp
  • Total Alpinism, 7 days from 4 – 10th March 2012, $ 2830 pp

One of those mountaineering instruction courses could be just right for you, so don’t hesitate and get in touch for more details.

For now:

HAPPY NEW YEAR